Today’s Thoughts: “When God is going to do something wonderful, [God] always starts with a hardship; when God is going to do something amazing, [God] starts with an impossibility.” (Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith)
In some ways I think both our readings today speak to Anne Lamott’s thoughts about God. In our first reading Amos faces the struggle and hardship of all prophets, not being accepted. He faces banishment and probably death. But Amos stands his ground after all this is not about him. He was a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores and he was fine with this simple life. No this is not about Amos, this is about God and his relationship with Israel. Amos’ parting words for Amaziah are not so merciful! But as Lamott says, if God is going to do something amazing God starts with hardship and the impossible. It was certainly a hardship and maybe even an impossible task for Amos. But, then God stepped in and the tables turned.
We might look at the Gospel (Matt. 9:1-8) in the same way. Jesus seemly, at least for the scribes, starts with an impossibility, forgiving sins which leads to another impossibility the healing of a paralytic. Yet from these two seemly impossible actions the hardship of sinfulness and a physical disability are taken away, in other words something amazing and wonderful takes place.
The key to both of our stories is faith and faithfulness, Amos’ faith, the paralytic and his friends’ faith and God’s faithfulness. Perhaps was we journey through this day we should give pause to look at the ways our faith is tested. May the hardships and the impossibilities of our journey through life be by the grace and mercy of God turned into the very faith and hopefulness that heals, forgives and proclaims God’s presence in the world.
Have a great Thursday everyone!
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...